Question about Zen School

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Wesley1982
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Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:46 am

Do you have to be invited to learn & study Zen or can you do that on your own? thanks.

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Indrajala
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:47 am

You can do it on your own. That's why Soto Shu on their official site provides instructions with colourful illustrations:

http://www.sotozen-net.or.jp/propagation/zazentop/saho
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:15 am



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Wesley1982
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:54 am


DGA
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby DGA » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:34 pm

There are many capable teachers. Find one you can work with, practice without holding back, and you'll be on your way.

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby MuMun » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:15 pm

For me it began with reading books. (There are lists of recommended books on this web site so I won't bother offering my own list.) Some of these books included basic instructions on how to start meditating. I tried that on my own for a while.

Eventually, I thought it would be useful to find a good community to practice with. I wasn't necessarily looking for a teacher, but some solidarity with others doing the practice including people who had been doing it for a long time. The first couple of places I visited were okay, but they didn't "click." Then I read a book by and about one particular teacher and that was sort of an "aha." I wanted to go find that guy. A week later, I was packing up and moving to be closer to this guy's center. He wasn't even there anymore -- he had gone back to Korea. But I met his older students, a good place and good people to practice with, and practiced with a teacher. I found all of this very helpful.

Practicing and learning on your own is possible. Easier, I think, for people who have established a strong practice, but anyone can do it. There are caveats to the "go it alone" strategy. It is usually hard, particularly for a beginner, to keep a consistent sitting practice going all by oneself. Another challenge is keeping all the stuff you might read, and all the ideas that pop into the consciousness, in a balanced perspective. It's easy to start believing the thoughts we make up about our experience, and a good community including good mentors help us handle that stuff clearly.

Be choosy! If it is possible where you live, visit different places, observe the people practicing there as much if not more than the teacher (if there is one). I tend to think you can tell a lot by how the students interact. Do they welcome you? Are they forthcoming about answering your questions? How does the organization raise funds? Do they charge a lot of money, do they live on donations, or what? Your gut will tell you. It's also a good idea to use Google. Check out the place, check out their teacher. Don't be satisfied with just a nice looking website. Caveat Zentor!

Best of luck. The decision to start a practice is a wonderful and momentous decision. Let us know what you find!

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Wesley1982
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:29 pm

I do think it will be interesting to try and incorporate the art of Zen buddha into my Christian prayer life.

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Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:59 am



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Wesley1982
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:26 am

Does a Zen Master have a dojo or particular place for ritual meditation in Japanese architecture?

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby shel » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:15 am

Yes it's called a zendo.

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Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:59 am



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Quiet Heart
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Quiet Heart » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:08 am

Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

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Quiet Heart
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Quiet Heart » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:15 am

Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

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Wesley1982
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:35 am

At some point, do you begin by "training your thoughts'"? . .So it becomes a daily function?..

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:42 am

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Megha » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:55 pm

Rinzai Zen requires a lot of "hands on" training, which can't really be replicated by solitary practice. Also, any practice, no matter how sincerely applied, will inevitably be liable to "I" bias. Being naturally lop-sided we can't really see our own "blind spots", and that's why a teacher is necessary to expose them. This is often an uncomfortable experience, hence Master Hakuin's statement that “Should you desire the great tranquillity, prepare to sweat white beads.” Without a teacher we will just not be aware of these blind spots, with the end result that the training "cuts no ice".

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby booker » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:19 pm


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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:30 pm

If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby anjali » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:24 pm

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:58 am




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